League of Women Voters reflects on progress of gender representation in NYS politics

The Hochul Administration

Lieutenant Governor of New York Kathy Hochul attends a ribbon cutting ceremony in the Bronx borough of New York, Tuesday, May 4, 2021. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul will make history at 12:01 A.M. Tuesday when she’s sworn in as the state’s first woman in the Executive Office. Women leaders in politics of past and present say this represents progress.

Barbara Bartoletti spent four decades in Albany with the League of Women Voters, educating people about their voting rights and working to hold lawmakers accountable. She recalls when New York saw its first female lieutenant governor in the 1970s, Mary Anne Krupsak, and told NEWS10 it made her optimistic at the time that she’d soon see a woman elected to the executive office.

“Of course it’s taken all these years for that to come true, if not elected in her own right, elected as lieutenant governor,” said Bartoletti.

Jennifer Wilson, who now serves as the League’s Deputy Director, called Hochul’s promotion “timely,” with women in New York politics becoming more prominent.

“Besides the [incoming] governor, we also have a female majority leader in the Senate, the second-in-command of the majority in the assembly is a woman,” Wilson said. “It’s just a very exciting time.”

Hochul plans to run for a four year term as governor next year. Bartoletti is looking forward to that, and feels Hochul didn’t have much room to show her skills under Cuomo.

Bartoletti called the resigning Democrat a “micromanager.”

“Unlike, perhaps Kamala Harris, as a vice president who has truly become a partner to Biden,” Bartoletti explained, “I’m afraid that this lieutenant governor has been kind of told to ‘go out and visit all the fairs, and visit here, and visit there.’”

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